Saturday, December 13, 2014

Moscato d'Asti with Fresh Fruit Almond Cake and Zabaglione

Welcome to our 7th Wine Pairing Weekend event. We have covered so many wonderful dishes over the year including last month's Creative Thanksgiving where I featured a Piemontese dish from Piedmont Italy: Brachetto d'Acqui with a walnut tart. 

I love the holidays and we're coming into Christmas, which is a perfect time of year to enjoy time with loved ones and of course delicious food and wine. This month we are featuring holiday sparkling wines and my sweet tooth took over again for this dish. I just so happened to feature another wine from the Piedmont region this month, Moscato d'Asti, with an almond cake topped with fresh fruit and zabaglione sauce, an Italian sauce for desserts, but is also made as a custard or sometimes a drink. Make sure you do some situps after this dish!

I'm not a huge lover of sparkling wines and those that I do enjoy are the sparkling wines that have a lighter, frothier effervesence. If it has a sweeter to it as well like Moscato d'Asti then it's a win-win for myself. I chose the 2013 Giorgio Carnevale Moscato d'Asti DOCG for this pairing.
2013 Giorgio Carnevale Moscato d'Asti
I searched online for what I felt would be a delicious pairing to this wine and I chose a recipe from Food & Wine. I put a slight twist on the way that they prepared the dish where they brushed the cake with a whiskey syrup and apricot glaze, but instead I chose to top it with their recipe for zabaglione and fresh fruits.

Preparing the Almond Cake
  • Use a round cake pan lined with a buttered parchment paper, although as long as you butter the pan so that it won't stick that should be sufficient
  • In a food processor combine ¾ cup of sugar, 4 ounces of almond paste, 1 stick of unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and blend.
  • Add 3 large eggs, a dash of salt and ¼ cup of milk to the processor.
  • Further add a cup of flour and ½ teaspoon of baking powder.
  • Once the batter is blended and smooth pour into the lined cake pan
  • Bake the cake for about 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees
  • Once cake is finished peel from paper and remove from pan.
Almond cake batterAlmond cake batter

Almond cake

Preparing the Zabaglione
  • Whisk 8 egg whites in a small stainless bowl with adding ¼ cup of sugar and ¾ cup of the Moscato that you may be pairing with this recipe
  • Place the bowl over a pan filled with about an inch of simmering water.
  • Once removing from heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place stainless bowl in a larger bowl full of ice water to chill the bowl full of zabaglione ingredients whisking until frothy.
Making ZabaglioneMaking zabaglione

How to make zabaglione
    Final Preparations

    • Place fresh berries on top of almond cake and pour the zabaglione sauce over the top
    • Cut a slice, pour a glass of Moscato d'Asti and smile!

    Almond cake with fresh berries and zabaglione
    2013 Giorgio Carnevale Moscato d'Asti DOCG 
    On the nose this wine was very florally and aromatic with peaches taking over. On the palate it was light and delicate with notes of peaches, mango and small, frothy bubbles. The Moscato d'Asti was a nice pairing with the almond cake as the sweetness and fruit elements in each complemented one another with the bubbles adding some liveliness to the mouth.

    Sparkling Wine and Appetizer Pairings 
    Here are the ideas available from our group for you. Try something new this year! 
    Bacon and Greens Dip with Bubbly by Cooking Chat 
     Piedmont Sparkling Nebbiolo & Pungent Anchovy Green Sauce by foodwineclick 
    Segura Viudas Aria Cava with Oysters and Spanish Tapas by Confessions of a Culinary Diva 
    Butterflied Spicy Prawns and Treveri Sparkling Wine by Wild 4 Washington Wine 
    A Seasonal Nibbles Duet + Pear Valley Vineyard's Frizzante Muscat by Culinary Adventures with Camilla 
    Appetizers served with a Sparkling Wine by A Day in the Life on the Farm 
    Cranberry Brie Biscuit Bites and Sparkling Muscat by Curious Cuisiniere  
    Domaine Meriwether Sparkling Wine and Make Ahead Spanakopita by Tasting Pour  
    Wine and Dine: Anna de Cordoniu Brut NV and Herbed Parmesan Crisps by Grape Experiences  
    Italian Sparkling Wine: Bubbly & Bacon #winePW by Girls Gotta Drink 
    The Holidays Sparkle on #WinePW by Rockin Red Blog 
     Butternut and Bubbly by It's Okay to Eat the Cupcake 
     Smoked Salmon and Potato Chip Appetizer with Louis Roederer Champagne by ENOFYLZ 

    Don't forget to our Twitter chat today, December 13th at 10 a.m. Central Time. We'll be talking about our tips and tricks for the best holiday wine pairings. We'd love to have you join us! Be sure to mark your calendars for January's Wine Pairing Weekend, hosted by Christy at Confessions of a Culinary Diva

    We'll be sharing "New Wine Resolutions - Wine or Region you want to explore in 2015. Join in the #WinePW 8 conversation on Saturday January 10!